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Full text of "The preacher : Rev. Thomas A. Caudle, "the temperance preacher of Yadkin County""

"The Preacher" 

Rev. Thomas A* Caudle 



The Temperance Preacher 
of Yadkin County" 



This Little Book is dedicated to Jessie Ruth, Blenda and Ricky 
who gave me the courage to write it. 

Tracy Caudle 1965 




"The Preacher " 

Rev. Thomas A. Caudle 

"The Temperance Preacher 
of Yadkin County" 



This Little Book is dedicated to Jessie Ruth, Blenda and Ricky 
who gave me the courage to write it. 

Tracy Caudle 1965 



2 



THE PREACHER 



The Caldwell Family of Scotland and England 

According to published authorities British Surnames by Bardsley, 
this family took its name from its estate of Caldwell which means 
cold wells; however, the name has been changed many times. We also 
have a record of the Caldwells in England. They, too, go by the name 
of Caudwell, Caudell, Cadle, Caudill, etc. 

On the Scotland coat of arms the motto is "Do and Hope" the 
English motto is "Sapre Aude" but each one bears the top of three 
wells. 

Today we have Caudle, Caudill, Caudell and Cordle, but they 
were originally Caldwell which can be descendants of either England 
or Scotland. According to some authorities the ancestors of Thomas 
Asbury Caudle of Yadkin County came from England to America and 
settled in Brunswick County in the valley of the James River in 
Virginia. This family consisted of three sons who came to North 
Carolina. Their names were William, James and Samson. 

As the story goes, a Negro assaulted a white girl and a posse was 
after him when he ran to where some men were rolling logs. William 
was assisting in this work and when the Negro attempted to pass him, 
he hit him on the head with a hand spike and killed him; the girl 
who had been assaulted was William's sweetheart. They were married 
soon after this event and came to North Carolina. They bought a 
large tract of land near Union Grove Baptist Church in Yadkin County. 
Elam Jesse (better known as Tobe) Caudle, a noted magistrate, is one 
of his descendants. 

Later James came to North Carolina and bought a tract of land 
at Five Mile Fork five miles from his brother, William. Thomas 
Asbury Caudle is James's descendant. Thomas — or Tommy as he was 
called by his friends — is the son of Elizabeth Anne Hutchins and 
Sanford Caudle. Tommy was born February 14, 1869, and grew up 
during the days of the government distillery and thus hangs the story 
of a boy's life. 

Cut Wood For Meal 

As it was very difficult to get very much money in Tommy's 
younger life and there was not any sale for grain except to the dis- 
tillers, the people would sell their extra grain to the ones who would 
make it into strong drink. Sometimes they would sell nearly all they 
had; then their families would suffer with hunger, and that is what 
happened in young Tommy's home. 

Tommy arose one morning and went into the kitchen where he 
found his mother weeping. "Why are you crying?" Tommy asked. 
His mother placed her arms around him and replied "My darling boy, 
there is not even a crust of bread in the house and I do not know 
where we can get anything to eat." Young Tommy grew into a man 
in the next few minutes as he thought how he could help. "Mama, 
I know what I will do. I will go over to Mr. Adams. He is kind and 
I believe he will let me cut some wood for some meal." Then he went 



THE PREACHER 3 



to Mr. Adams and asked if he would please let him cut some wood 
for some meal as his little sisters were crying for something to eat 
but there was not even a crust of bread for them. 

Mr. Adams told him he would be glad to let him cut some wood, 
but he knew a hungry boy could not do good work, therefore he invited 
Tommy in the house and gave him a good breakfast. Tommy was now 
ready to swing that axe and soon a large pile of wood was cut. Mr. 
Adams told his wife that Tommy had earned more than a gallon 
of meal so she put the meal in a sack and Tommy started home through 
the woods rejoicing at the thought that his mother and his sisters 
would have something to eat, but the Lord had a great big surprise 
for his faithfulness and caused him to look up. 

My, what a beautiful sight he saw! A tree with honey so low 
he could reach it. He soon had his bucket full of that wonderful 
honey and now he really hurried home. He soon saw his mother 
standing in the door and called to her to look what he had, not only 
meal but honey, how happy those words made her. She hurried to 
the kitchen to bake some bread. Soon dinner was on the table and 
to those hungry children it was a feast. That dinner was so great 
they remembered and spoke of the dinner the Lord gave them when 
they were old and grey. 

A Small Boy Bonded 

Tommy's father was a very poor man. So in order for his family 
to have a little more money for food and clothing, he bonded Tommy 
out at the age of eight for two dollars per month. Tommy's job was 
to cut wood and do the chores around the house. Later he was bonded 
to a man to work in a tobacco factory making plug tobacco. When 
he was large enough to manage a team, he was bonded to Grant 
Wooten to haul liquor and tobacco and sell it. This work was very 
repulsive to Tommy and he told Wooten he did not want to sell liquor 
because he had seen how it robbed children of food and clothes, it 
would break wives and mothers hearts, and kill the respect for fathers. 
Wooten told him he would do as he was told. 

Tommy replied, "All right Mr. Wooten I will obey your orders 
until I am twenty-one but I will not sell one drop of liquor the next 
minute after I am twenty-one. 

One day Wooten told Tommy to load the liquor barrels and 
tobacco on the wagon and take it to Fayette ville. Tommy obeyed 
with a lighter heart than he had on any previous trip as he knew 
he would be twenty-one by the time he reached his destination and 
he would not have to make any more sales, so he went down the road 
with a happy heart and arrived in Fayetteville the day before he was 
twenty^one. He unhitched his horses from the wagon and fed them, 
then he ate his supper and went to bed. After a happy night's rest 
and sleep, he arose, fed his team, hitched them to the wagon, and 
started home to freedom with the liquor barrels yet full. When he 
^° arrived home he told Mr. Wooten every drop of the liquor he had 
^ left home with was in the barrels and he was through with the stuff. 



4 



THE PREACHER 



When he was just a small boy, he made a temperance speech 
standing on a stump and said he would live to see the time when it 
would be unlawful to make and sell strong drink. 

A Dance 

Tommy was a great dancer and all the girls felt as if they were 
the lucky ones when they had him for a partner. 

When Tommy accepted Christ for his partner, the young people 
wondered if he would quit dancing. They decided to test him by 
inviting him to a dance, he accepted the invitation, placed a New 
Testament in his pocket and went to the home where the dance was 
to be. Time began to draw near for the music to start and the girls 
were all in a twitter as to who Tommy's partner would be as he had 
told them he had his partner with him. When the musicians started 
to get the music going, Tommy stepped forward taking his Testament 
from his pocket and told his friends he wanted to introduce his partner 
and ask his partner's blessing on the dance. At the close of the prayer, 
someone asked Tommy to preach, which he did. At the close of his 
message he invited his friends to come and accept his Christ. Several 
accepted his invitation and the dance was turned into a revival meeting. 

Tommy felt the Lord wanted him to go out in the highways and 
hedges and carry His message; so he started out in the Quaker faith 
under a brush arbor near what is known today as Pilot View Meeting 
House. During one of these services, it came a hard rain, but the 
people were enjoying the message so much they just sat still while 
the rain fell. 

Tommy did not have any education, so someone would read his 
scripture lesson for him for a short period of time until he learned 
to read for himself by the aid of a dear friend Rev. S. S. May (better 
known as Uncle Stanley), a Baptist minister, who was a teacher. 
Tommy was such an apt student and so anxious to know what was in 
his Bible that he would read and study until the early hours of morn- 
ing. He soon accepted the Baptist faith and was baptized into Union 
Grove Baptist Church. There he was licensed to preach. 

Tommy was such an outstanding preacher the people began calling 
him THE PREACHER, so we too will call him that. 

The preacher was a great evangelist and for a long time he went 
into places where there were no churches and preached under brush 
arbors or in schoolhouses in the isolated communities. At the close 
of the meeting he would organize a church. 

He was not afraid to go into the most despicable communities and 
preach Christ and Him crucified, as he knew Christ was his partner 
and would go with him all the way. What was there to fear? His 
heart was burdened with the conditions of the liquor communities and 
each time he had an opportunity he went into these places. Many 
times he would stay two weeks preaching day and night, for the people 
were hungry for something better. At the close of these meetings 
he would baptize the ones who had accepted Christ as he was a great 
believer in putting on the whole armor of God. If the people wanted 



THE PREACHER 



5 



a church he would call for an arm, which is a group of members, 
from some Baptist church, and organize a new church. 

New Hope 

According to the history of New Hope Baptist Church by J. M. 
Grose, who was the clerk of this church twenty-seven years and a 
deacon sixty years, this community was noted for its whiskey and drink 
habits with all the evils that follow it. 

As most of the people walked at that time, it was quite a task 
to attend either of the surrounding churches. Some of the mothers 
became burdened with the conditions of the community and started 
a Sunday School in a home. Then the people decided to build a 
brush arbor in the center of the community near the present church; 
when the arbor was finished, the news went over the community 
there would be Sunday School the next Sunday which was the second 
Sunday in May 1902 under the new arbor. To the great surprise of all, 
there were seventy-three present. The interest kept growing as the 
people became more interested in their Sunday School; they began 
to see the need of help, so a young girl walked five miles to invite 
Tommy, who was now known as "The Preacher," to come over and 
help them in a series of meetings which began the fourth Sunday 
in July, 1902, resulting in a great revival. The mothers began talking 
about the great need of a church, and the men agreed that a church 
would mean so much more to the community than the distilleries they 
had been operating, thus a church was organized September 7, 1902, 
with eleven members. The church was named New Hope because 
it meant new hope for a corrupt community. 

The Preacher was elected pastor and the people really went to 
work. T. G. Wallace gave the land for the church, Mrs. M. L. Barnard 
gave a lot of good timber, and the men cut and had it sawed into 
lumber. The women did all they could by getting up means for the 
expenses. Seven months after the church was organized the building 
was enclosed and a great change in the community had resulted. It 
was very seldom anyone would be found at home during church hours, 
and it was also very seldom a boy ever got into any kind of trouble. 
The people in the surrounding communities began to look on New 
Hope community as one of the best communities. 

Out of the first thirty years of the life of New Hope Church, 
The Preacher was the pastor sixteen of them. 

Bethel 

Back in the eighteen and nineties, The Preacher conducted a 
meeting in Vestal's Schoolhouse with a great success. In 1916 he con- 
ducted another great meeting in the same schoolhouse with such 
a great success that the people wanted a church, but we will let "The 
Preacher's" friend, B. F. Gough, tell about his work there. 



6 



THE PREACHER 



August, 1926 

Rev. T. A. Caudle came to us in the old schoolhouse some thirty 
years ago. About the same time, he took a stand for temperance 
in the Yadkin Association which was in session at Sandy Springs, 
our mother church, and from the outcome of that speech, Old Yadkin 
adopted prohibition in her churches and he has been praying, preach- 
ing, talking, and working for the enforcement of prohibition ever 
since. During the meeting at the old schoolhouse mentioned above, 
there was a great revival and many souls brought into the Kingdom 
which brought about a great restoration in our community. 

He came to us again ten and a half years ago and held another 
meeting with as great or greater success as the first time. At the 
close of this meeting a church was organized. 

Brother Caudle has been with us ever since until he resigned 
in July, 1926. We have had an evergreen Sunday School since the 
beginning of the church and have held the banner in the association 
five years during the ten years. The membership has more than 
doubled and we feel as though no pastor could have been more faith- 
ful to the church than he; as he has resigned his work at this place 
we bid him Goodspeed in the Kingdom work where he may be called. 

At the close of Bro. Caudle's pastorate there have been 115 to join 
this church, 81 by baptism. 

"The Preacher's preaching was so forceful the leaders in the 
church felt they must have a clean church; therefore if one of Bethel's 
members were caught drinking, transporting intoxicating beverages, 
or using profane language, he would be dealt with in the church, 
but many times someone would ask for mercy and another chance 
for the offender. Sometimes when two members could not agree, the 
church would be asked to settle their disagreement. Such was the 
case of John Brandon and Joe Chamberlain. They disagreed about 
the dividing line between their farms. A committee was appointed 
to decide on a line between their farms. Brandon agreed with the 
committee; Chamberlain disagreed. For ten months the church did 
everything possible to get the dispute settled, but to no avail. Finally 
a charge of contempt of church was brought against Chamberlain, 
and a motion was made to withdraw fellowship with him, but Brandon 
arose and asked the church to give him one more month and for 
Rev. Holloway and Rev. Caudle visit Chamberlain as they might have 
success in getting the difficulty settled. The church agreed, but 
the two ministers failed; then the revival meeting started and Cham- 
berlain and Brandon settled their difference. The church was called 
into conference and a motion was made to rescind the charges against 
Chamberlain. 

In November 1925, Rev. J. G. Martin assisted "The Preacher" 
in a very successful revival. Twenty-four joined Bethel by baptism 
and five by letter. 



THE PREACHER 



7 



South Oak Ridge Baptist 

Around 1895 "The Preacher" conducted a meeting in Frog Pond 
Schoolhouse. A great revival was the result of this meeting, and 
the people decided they wanted a church in that community. "The 
Preacher" assisted in organizing a church that was named South Oak 
Ridge. He expected to be called as pastor but the liquor element got 
into the church, so they (a committee from the church) went to Wilkes 
County where the preachers said it was all right to take a dram, and 
asked Billy Myers to be their pastor. 

Sheriff Zachary Killed 

Just after World War I, The Preacher was serving as Justice 
of Peace. One day his son, Howard, heard Hoyt Lynch tell his father 
a distillery was in operation at a certain place and if he did not 
report it Lynch was going to indict him, so The Preacher sent his son 
George to report it to Sheriff Zachary. 

The sheriff arrived at ten o'clock that night at The Preacher's 
home and told The Preacher he was deputizing him to go on the raid. 
The Preacher replied, "Sheriff, if we go alone someone will be killed," 
but the sheriff was very confident that the men at the distillery would 
run. The Preacher kept begging the sheriff to go after John Shugart 
and Charlie Dunnigan who were revenue officers and regular dare- 
devils but the sheriff continued arguing that the men would run. 
He thought everyone was afraid of the law and would run. The 
Preacher started with the sheriff yet telling him someone would get 
killed. Just before they arrived at the distillery they heard someone 
whistle twice, then paused a moment and whistled again. They heard 
this signal several times and The Preacher said, "Sheriff, they are 
going to make a stand," but the sheriff continued saying, "They will 
run." When they arrived at the distillery they saw two men at work. 
The Preacher recognized them as Robah Baity and Spence McNeil. 
When the sheriff called to the men to surrender, he was shot and fell 
in The Preacher's arms. Then the two men tried to shoot The 
Preacher, but the gun would not fire. These men were arrested the 
next day, and they were tried in Yadkinville Superior Court. McNeil 
was found not guilty but Baity was found guilty of first degree murder 
and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. His lawyers did all 
that was in their power to do, but it was all in vain. The day and 
hour were drawing near for him to die; many had signed petitions but 
appeals and petitions had all failed. Finally the governor told the 
ones who were begging for Baity's life to be spared that if they would 
bring the eye witness whose testimony was sending Baity to his death, 
he would consider what he had to say. All at once The Preacher 
began to be a great man in the eyes of the ones who had been trying 
to destroy him. To Quote his son Nelson, "I was standing in front 
of Dr. Harding's office at Courtney, N. C, when I heard the doctor 
beg my father to go to Raleigh and enter a plea to the governor to 
spare Baity's life. Papa looked at Harding and said, 'Doctor, you have 



8 



THE PREACHER 



given me poison medicine until I am so weak I can hardly go.' The 
doctor told him if he would go, all of his expenses would be paid 
and he would be well cared for. 

"The doctor, lawyers, and The Preacher went to Raleigh and were 
permitted to see the governor. He looked at The Preacher and in a 
kind voice said 'Preacher Caudle, why do you ask me to spare Baity's 
life?' The Preacher looked at the governor and replied that 'Men like 
some of these here are more to blame than Baity.' The governor said, 
'Upon your knowledge of this case and your recommendation I am 
giving you the privilege of saying whether Baity is given life in prison 
or death.' Tommy replied, 'By all means give him life.' 

"Several years later Baity was paroled and today, the year of 
1964 he is living an honorable, useful life." 

A Lonely Boy 

When Howard was a small boy he was not physically strong, so 
his parents took him to the doctor. He advised them to get Howard 
a dog all his own. He was happy with his little Trixy; now he had 
something to talk to and go with him on walks. The two olders boys 
owned a dog and they named her Beagle. At night when The Preacher 
was not too tired for fun and play with his children, he would get 
Trixy and Beagle on his knees; then the boys would walk up to their 
father and tap him on the knee. The dogs would jump down and chase 
them across the room, then go back to The Preacher and wait for the 
boys to come again; then they would have another race. Oh, what 
fun The Preacher and his family had! But Howard's heart was soon 
broken as his mother died, and little Trixy was bitten by a rabid dog 
and had to be killed. Now the sorrow and loneliness was so great 
it was almost more than he could bear. 

Many times when Christ calls a man to make a stand for Him 
and preach the Gospel, the man will be persecuted by the world as the 
world does not know Christ. Not only will the man be persecuted, 
but the ones who are dear to him, such was the case of The 
Preacher; he was such an outstanding man, the worldly people began 
saying "Away with him; he is against our god, the liquor bottle. Let's 
kill him." And that is what they tried to do many times, but failed. 
Then they tried to scare his children out of their wits, but they were 
all physically strong enough to fight their way through except Howard, 
so the enemy made his life one of misery. One day they found him 
all alone and after abusing him, they tore his shirt off. He was so 
frightened it affected his entire life, so he tried to stay from his 
father's enemies and turned to mother nature and books for his 
comfort. He would stay around the pond near Frank Garner's home 
or walk along the streams and in the woods. While he was looking 
at the flowers and the little wild animals, he was wondering why his 
father had to be away from home so much and asking, "Why can't 
daddy be with me? I would like to talk with him and if he would 
go with me on some of my walks, how wonderful that would be. 
I would show him a bird's nest with four little fuzzy birds in it, then 



THE PREACHER 



9 



we would sit down and watch the mother bird feed her hungry babies, 
hear the frogs croak and if we are real quiet, we might see a rabbit 
go hopping by or a squirrel run up a tree." Poor boy. He did not 
know that Daddy's heart was so heavy when he had to leave his chil- 
dren all alone not knowing what would happen to them before he could 
return. Many times he would stop his horse and go down on his knees 
and beg the Lord to be with his precious children while he was away. 

Howard's brothers did not know he was so lonely and wanted 
someone to confide in. If they had known, they would have taught him 
how to protect himself and would have been near if he had needed 
help. They all thought Howard wanted to be alone on his walks and he 
read because he had rather read than be with them. 

The Red Whiskey Gang 

In the year of 1911, a crowd of young men who called themselves 
"The Red Whiskey Gang" decided they would take over and they 
wrote a letter to John Dunn, The Preacher and his father, Sanford 
Caudle, who had been a drunkard, but had quit drinking and was 
now opposed to strong drink. This gang told the three they were 
giving them just so many hours to get out of the community, and if 
they were not gone by that time they were coming after them. Time 
ran out and neither of the three had moved, so the gang went after 
Sanford with their guns. Sanford opened the door and was standing 
in the light when The Red Whiskey Gang shot at him, but the bullet 
hit a limb and glanced or he would have been killed. He grabbed 
his gun and shot at them; then they decided it was time to be moving 
on. The next night, they got up enough nerve to tackle The Preacher, 
but he was ready for them and was waiting out under an apple tree 
in the dark. The gang went to a shed where The Preacher kept his 
cows at night and tried to get a bell off the cows, but the cows were 
afraid of the whiskey gang and ran. The Preacher did not run from 
them, and when they came close to him, he shot at them and they ran 
with The Preacher right behind, shooting. The father of two of the 
boys heard the shooting and was waiting for his sons when they 
returned home, with a black snake whip and when he finished with 
them the blood was running down into their shoes and that changed 
the minds of some, but not all. 

Seven Gallons Of Liquor 

One Sunday afternoon The Preacher was returning home and he 
had to go through a gate. When he stopped to open the gate a man 
raised up out of the fence corner and told The Preacher he did not 
have a thing against him but he had been promised seven gallons 
of liquor for thrashing him. This drunkard had not stopped to con- 
sider that a man who had lived a clean life could give him a licking 
any day and not half try, so he was amazed when The Preacher reached 
out and knocked him to the ground. "You broke my leg; You broke 
my leg," the man yelled. The Preacher replied, "Get on my horse 



10 



THE PREACHER 



and I will take you home," but the man refused so The Preacher went 
after one of his neighbors with a sled pulled by a steer to take him 
home. 

The whiskey people brought a charge against The Preacher for 
breaking a man's leg and tried to get him excluded from the church, 
but the investigating committee went to see the man and found his 
leg not broken. The charge was dismissed and The Preacher was free 
to continue preaching against sin of all kinds. The hired fighter did 
not get his seven gallons of liquor. 

Rev. Thomas A. Caudle As I Knew Him 

When I was a small boy, he and his family lived in our community 
and I often played with the older children. Their family and ours 
were good neighbors and the best of friends. I remember hearing 
Bro. Caudle preach at Deep Creek Baptist Church and at other places 
on various occasions when I was small. 

An Ordination Service 

The record of Rev. T. A. Caudle's ordination into the ministry 
is found in Book No. 1, Page 88 of the record books of Deep Creek 
Baptist Church. This is an exact copy: 

"On Sunday March 22, 1896, Bro. T. A. Caudle was ordained into 
the ministry. Rev. M. Baldwin, S. S. May, W. B. Casstevens and the 
pastor formed the presbytery of which Bro. Baldwin was appointed 
moderator and W. B. Casstevens secretary, Bro. Baldwin preached 
at 11 o'clock. Text 1st Corinthians, 3 chapter, 22 verse." 

J. J. Angel was pastor at that time. 

Rev. Caudle helped in quite a number of Revival Meetings at Deep 
Creek of which there are three occasions that were quite outstanding. 

In 1910, beginning the 4th Sunday in September and continuing 
the following week, Bro. Caudle and T. C. Myers, together, did the 
preaching. S. S. May was the pastor. There were 32 baptisms and 
the following year, 1911, with T. C. Myers and Bro. Caudle helping 
Bro. May, there were 19 baptisms. I was present at both of these 
meetings and these records are recorded in the church book. 

Another outstanding meeting that he helped me (J. G. Allgood) 
at Deep Creek was Sept. 1925 and this was my first year as pastor. 
There were 30 additions to the church and it was the most wonderful 
meeting I was ever in. 

Another eventful occasion, when he was with me, was at Deep 
Creek at the 50th anniversary of the church in 1934 at the eleven 
o'clock service. Rev. V. M. Swaim, a former pastor, was scheduled 
to preach but for some reason he failed to come and Bro. Caudle 
was invited to preach although it was unexpected to him. He preached 
the sermon for the hour from Hebrews 11:39, "These all, having 
obtained a good report." This sermon was so well fitted for the 
occasion, I have never forgotten it. 

As further proof of my appreciation for Bro. Caudle, he was the 
one whom my wife and I chose to perform our marriage ceremony. 



THE PREACHER 



11 



After we were married we had him quite often in our home to spend 
the night with us, of which we now cherish many memories. 

When plans were being made for my ordination into the ministry 
in the early part of 1925, I asked for the privilege of having Bro. 
•Caudle in the ordination service. 

In my early pastorial work he indeed was a father in the ministry 
to me. I often called on him to help me in various ways in my work 
and I was with Bro. Caudle in his churches to help him in various 
ways. We often went together to Pastor and Deacon's meetings, asso- 
ciations, etc. Our fellowship together was most pleasant. 

It has been my privilege to be pastor of two churches of which 
Bro. Caudle had been pastor, namely, Rock Springs and Union Hill. 
I found in each of these churches a secred memory and profound 
appreciation for his work. 

I have heard that Bro. Caudle's education was somewhat limited 
when he entered the ministry, but through his study through the years 
he prepared himself in a marvelous way of being well read in the Bible 
and in general. I heard Professor Dan Martin, an outstanding school 
master, say of Bro. Caudle, that, but few public speakers used better 
English than he did. Bro. Caudle was a man of deep convictions, 
possessed much faith and indeed was a great Gospel Preacher. His 
sermons were well constructed; he possessed a wonderful voice for 
delivery and lots of persuasive power. 

It is with gratitude that I have been asked by the family and 
am able to give this information concerning my good friend and 
fellow worker in the Gospel Ministry. 

By Rev. J. Glenn Allgood, Dec. 1964. 

The Preacher Meets His Wife 

The Preacher met a beautiful young girl at Deep Creek Baptist 
Church and fell in love with her, but when he asked her to marry 
him she replied she did not know anything about him as being a young 
preacher did not mean a thing, but if he proved all right after she 
was better acquainted with him she would marry him. He measured 
up to her standard and they were married and it was a wonderful 
marriage. 

What Naomi Had To Say 

When papa would go to his churches on weekends, mother would 
begin listening for him when she thought it time for him to be re- 
turning home on Sunday afternoon. Papa had such a strong voice 
we could hear him singing a half mile away and he would always be 
singing "Nearer, My God, To Thee," "What A Friend We Have In 
Jesus," "Sweet Hour Of Prayer" or some other good old Gospel song. 
Mother would sing along with him until he arrived home, that was 
the way she welcomed him home and it seems as if I can almost hear 
them singing now. 

When I was just a girl I had meningitis and it left me in a 



12 



THE PREACHER 



weakened condition; I was not able to work, so papa would take me 
with him when he went to his churches. He was the pastor of New 
Hope Baptist Church in Iredell County on highway 21; one day he told 
me I could go with him and spend a week in the New Hope Community 
as it was time for the yearly protracted meeting. One night the 
church was packed full and people standing at the doors and windows 
looking in. When the altar call was made, several went to the altar 
for prayer and accepted Christ; a few failed to accept Him. When 
the meeting was dismissed Uncle Bob Coram, papa and myself started 
to Mr. Jim Reavis home in the community to spend the night. We had 
not gone very far when we heard singing; we looked back and saw 
the church lights. Papa and Uncle Bob discussed whether to go back 
to church or go on to Mr. Reavis. They finally decided to go on. 
The next morning when we returned to church, papa asked if anyone 
accepted Christ after we left, as he thought they continued the service 
after we left. They looked at him in amazement and said, "No one 
went back to the church." 

Papa said this same event happened at Deep Creek Church before 
he and mother were married. The church was filled to overflowing, 
several people had accepted Christ and when the pastor of the church 
dismissed the congregation, papa started walking home with mother, 
but they had not gone far when they heard singing. They stopped 
and looked back; the church was all lit up and they thought someone 
had gone back into the church to pray but when they inquired the 
next day, they were told no one was in the church. It seemed God 
wanted to show papa and mother a special scene." 

People wonder why the churches are so empty today, but when 
The Preacher went out into a revival meeting he wondered if everyone 
would get a seat. Many times there would not be standing room 
in the church and both colored and white would be looking in at the 
window. 

Baptized A Boy 

The Preacher was the Pastor at Bear Creek when a small boy 
accepted Christ and asked to be baptized. The church thought he was 
so young they did not want to take time for him to be baptized, but 
The Preacher said, "Son, I will baptize you by myself." The boy grew 
into a man and went to a western state; The Preacher forgot him, 
but one day he was working in his garden when a stranger drove up 
and inquired for Preacher Caudle. The Preacher replied, "I am he." 
The stranger grabbed him by the hand and said, "I am the little boy 
you had time to baptize and I have always said if I ever married 
I wanted you to perform the ceremony. The girl I am marrying is 
in the car and we want you to marry us just as quickly as you can; 
I am the president of a big business and must return home as quickly 
as possible." 



THE PREACHER 



13 



The Preacher's Grandchildren 

When I was a small boy, Grandpa would visit us; he and I would go 
behind the house where it was shady and sit down. He would read the 
Bible to me and talk to me. How I did enjoy those talks! It seems 
I can almost hear him now. 

Marvin Smith. 

I was only nine years old when Grandpa died, but I remember 
him so well. He was a great preacher and a great man. 

Phares Caudle. 

One of my first remembrances of Grandpa was his silver white 
hair. The quiet sweet look and his Christian belief was mirrored 
on his face. I always thought he was the most handsome man I ever 
saw. One of my most precious treasures is a small testament with 
his name in it he gave me when I was small. 

Eirsel Smith Boswell. 

When I was in High School, I stayed part of the time at Grandpa's. 
I enjoyed so much the many talks with him and I wished many times 
the things he told me could be but in a book. 

Jessie Ruth Caudle Watson. 

Children, Grandchildren, and Great- 
Grandchildren of Rev. T. A. Caudle 

By his first wife Amanda Elizabeth (Rense) Hoots: 

Naomi: Married Ora Smith; their children, 
Gladys: Married William Kirkman; their children, 

Mary: Married Bob Dixon — to this union one child, Anthony Can*. 
Mary later married Dan Brock. No children at this date. 
Polly: Not married at this date. 
Annie: Died October 19, 1916. 

Eirsell: Married Lee Boswell. They adopted a girl, Linda Smith. 
Marvin: Married Esta Mahaffey; their children, Marvene and Barbara. 

Phares: Died November 25, 1913, of an accidental gunshot wound. 

Facette: Married Stannie Gough; their children, 

Jesse Ruth: Married Carl Watson; their children, Carl Everette Jr., 
Paul and Susan. 

Thomas: Married Troy Swicegood; their children, Tony and Trent. 
Harold: Married Sally Allgood; their children, Judy, David and Mark. 
Alvis: Married Jeanette White; their children, Teresa. 
Annie Lee: Married Delano Loflin; their children, Phillip, Joan, Sammy, 
and Connie. Annie Lee later married Wade Wright; their children, 
Marie, Melissa, and Melinda. 

Meredith: Married Bobbie Jean Haynes; their children, Joe Kent. 
Kay: Married Johnny Martin; no children at this date. 
Jimmy: Married Margaret West; their children, Scotty. 



14 



THE PREACHER 



Gary: Married Mildred Mullis; their children, Keith. 
Polly: Married Grady Wiles; their children, Danny. 

Thomas Elvin (George): Married Lacie Wallace; their children, 
Sarah: Married Hester Pegram; their children, Annie, Judy, Freddy, 
and Teddy. 

Lloyd: Married Dorothy Staub; their children, Granger, Gordon, and 
Lloyd Cameron Jr. 

Nelson: Married Tracy Grose; their children, 
Violet: Not married at this date. 

Phares: Married Carrie Jane Rumple; their children, Phyllis, Allan, 
Jcy, Rodney, and Douglass. 

Jesse: Married Mary Belle Howell; their children, Ricky, Beverly, 
Timothy, and Geoffrey. 

Bonnie: Married Arthur Wishon; their children, Blenda, Phillip and 
Patsy Karen. 

Jewel: Married Harold Allen; their children Freddy, Michael, Shelly 
Ruth, and Sherrie. 

Ida Faye: Married Kenneth Byrd; their children, Teresa Rene. 

Howard: Married Mae Allen; they did not have any children but adopted 
a boy, Paul who died an accidental death. His last wife Lynnette. 

Rense died August 1910 and The Preacher married Rose Etta Wooten; 
their children are, 

Raymond: Married Clara Baker; their children, 
Clyde Thomas: Married; their children Kathy and Terrie. 
Billy Ray: Married Martha; no children at this date. 
Mae: Married Frank Frye; their children, 

Mary Alice: Married Harold Styers; their children Shirley Faye, Rodney 

(died May 6, 1964), Robin, Mark and Harold Jr. 

Peggy: Married Gray Beckner. They have one child, Keith. 

Charles: Married Kathy Dukas; their children, Wendy and Randy. 

James: Married Rebecca Harp; their children, Ferlin. 
Wanda: Not married at this date. 

Rose Etta died December 22, 1913. The Preacher married Myrtle 
Steelman; their children, 

Dwight: Married Glennie Jones; their children, Thomas Alfred. 

There is one illegitimate child in the Caudle Clan. His name is 
Billy Ray Coble. His mother's name is Lora Coble. The Preacher 
always recognized this boy as his grandson. 

Our Beloved Dead 

Sanford Caudle died April 1, 1932, funeral and burial at Deep 
Creek Baptist Church in Yadkin County. 

Thomas Asbury Caudle died February 19, 1936, funeral and burial 
at Deep Creek Baptist Church in Yadkin County. 



THE PREACHER 



15 



Amanda Elizabeth Caudle died August 1910, funeral and burial 
at Deep Creek Baptist Church in Yadkin County. 

Rose Etta Caudle died December 22, 1913, funeral and burial at 
South Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Yadkin County. 

Phares Caudle died of an accidental gunshot wound November 25, 
1913, funeral and burial at Deep Creek Baptist Church, Yadkin County. 

Annie Smith died at the age of six months, October 19, 1916, 
funeral and burial at Deep Creek Baptist Church in Yadkin County. 

Thomas Elvin (George) Caudle died December 21, 1947, funeral 
and burial at Lewisville Baptist Church in Lewisville, N. C. 

Jettie Opal Caudle died at the age of two months and twelve days 
September 5, 1941, funeral and burial at Bethel Baptist Church in 
Wilkes County. 

Hazel, wife of Howard Caudle died September 1949 in Denver, 
Colorado, funeral and burial in Alliance, Nebraska. 

Paul adopted son of Howard Caudle died an accidental death 
June 3, 1950, funeral in Greensboro, burial in Greensboro Military 
Cemetery. 

Rodney Styers died May 6, 1964, age 11 years and 11 months. 

During the life of The Preacher he preached and organized 
churches in schoolhouses. Anders was one of them, but it failed 
and some of the members helped to organize Holly Springs and some 
of the others helped to organize New Hope of which The Preacher 
was elected the first pastor. He served sixteen years out of the 
first thirty. 

He preached in Vestals Schoolhouse and organized Bethel of 
Yadkin County; he was the pastor ten years. He preached in Frog 
Pond Schoolhouse; organized South Oak Ridge in Yadkin County. 
Preached in Orville Grave Yard Schoolhouse several years and 
organized Turner's Creek Church and was elected as first pastor. 
Preached under a brush arbor in the Shugart Town community 
near the present location of Pilot View Meeting House but did not 
organize a church. Seventy years later his son, Nelson, organized 
Shugart Town Baptist Church near the place his father preached 
under the brush arbor. He was also pastor of Concord in Alexander 
County, Gum Orchard in Surry, Ijames Cross roads in Davie, Rock 
Springs in Iredell, Island Ford in Yadkin. He assisted in a meeting 
in Cooleemee and as a result of this meeting he assisted in baptizing 
fifty people. He assisted in many revivals as he was a great evangelist 
and sometimes he would be in revivals seven weeks straight. When 
he died he was pastor of Union Hill in Forsyth County. 

He was a preacher who did not believe in dragging the Lord's 
work and when his time came to preach he would almost run into 
the pulpit. He believed a preacher ought to know how to clean 
catfish, cut the head and tail off and give the people the good part. 

His motto was "Stand for the right, if you have to stand alone." 



16 



THE PREACHER 



Tommy's daily life can be best described in the poem of 

The House By The Side Of The Road 

by Sam Walter Foss 

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn 

In the place of their self-content: 
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart, 

In a fellowless firmanent; 
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths 

Where highways never ran — 
But let me live by the side of the road 

And be a friend to man. 

Let me live in a house by the side of the road, 

Where the race of men go by — 
The men who are good and the men who are bad, 

As good and as bad as I. 
I would not sit in the scorner's seat, 

Or hurl the cynic's ban — 
Let me live in a house by the side of the road 

And be a friend to man. 

I see from my house by the side of the road, 

By the side of the highway of life, 
The men who press with the ardor of hope, 

The men who are faint with the strife. 
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears, 

Both parts of an infinite plan — 
Let me live in a house by the side of the road 

And be a friend to man. 

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead 

And mountains of wearisome height; 
That the road passes on through the long afternoon 

And stretches away to the night, 
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice, 

And weep with the strangers that moan, 
Nor live in my house my the side of the road 

Like a man who dwells alone. 

Let me live in my house by the side of the road — 

It's here the race of men go by, 
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, 

Wise, foolish — so am I: 

Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat, 

Or hurl the cynic's ban? 
Let me live in my house by the side of the road 

And be a friend to man. 

The End. 




ELK PRINTING CO.. UCIN. N. C.